MSU Women Tie School Record For Home Wins In Victory Over PSU

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Suzy Merchant (PHOTO:  MSU SID)

Suzy Merchant (PHOTO: MSU SID)

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women's basketball tied the school record for home wins with a 57-48 victory over Penn State Thursday in home regular-season finale at the Breslin Center. The Spartans tied the 2010-11 squad who also finished the season 15-1 at home.

With the win, MSU improves to 19-9 overall and 9-8 in Big Ten action, winning its second-straight game. Michigan State's only home loss was a 77-70 defeat at the hands of Ohio State on Feb. 21.

In the low scoring affair, the Spartans finished in double figures led by 14 points from freshman guard Nia Clouden, who scored 14 points to go along with four rebounds. Sophomore forward Sidney Cooks added 12 points and six rebounds. Redshirt-junior guard Shay Colley had her 18th double-figure scoring game with 10 points and a team-highs of seven rebounds and four assists.

Michigan State's defensive effort held Penn State to just 30.5 percent (18-of-59) field goal shooting, a new season-low by an MSU opponent, bettering the previous mark of 31.6 percent (18-of-57) by Kennesaw State (Nov. 23).

Penn State's Lauren Ebo was the lone player in Wednesday's game with a double-double, registering 13 points and 11 boards.

Both teams started slowly with MSU leading Penn State 6-5 at the first media timeout with 4:26 left in the first quarter. Michigan State used a 8-0 run to take the 10-5 lead. Penn State missed 11-straight shots over 6:27 before a pair of Kamaria McDaniel free throws halted the drought. The teams made it out of the first quarter with MSU leading, 10-6.

In the second quarter, both teams still struggled to find their offensive rhythm. With under three minutes left in the quarter, the Spartans used a 6-0 run to get energized and take a 27-20 lead. Colley beat the buzzer with a layup to put Michigan State up 32-24 at halftime.

Penn State came out strong in the third quarter scoring the first five points, MSU responded nicely using a 6-0 run to take its first double-digit lead of the game, 39-29 with 6:12 left in the period. From that point the Spartans only expanded the lead. Michigan State took as big a lead as 19 points after a Cooks jumper in the paint with 1:21 left in the stanza. The Spartans were able to hold the Lady Lions to only nine third-quarter points.

The Lady Lions did not go down without a fight in the fourth, using a 7-0 run to cut the big MSU advantage to 13 points, 53-40 with 6:31 left in the game. Penn State forced three Spartan turnovers in three minutes, to trim the lead to 55-46 with two minutes left in the game. MSU was held to only six fourth-quarter points.

The Spartans will conclude the regular season at Minnesota on Sunday, March 3 at 4 p.m . ET.

Post-Game Notes vs. Penn State
• Michigan State tied a school record with its 15th home win this season, finishing the 2018-19 season with a 15-1 record at Breslin Center, matching the 2010-11 MSU squad ... The Spartans have won 18 of their last 19 home games dating back to last season, after having their 16-game home winning streak snapped by Ohio State on Feb. 24 ... The 2010-11 MSU squad was 15-1 at home and the only losses both in 2018-19 and 2010-11 were at the hands of Ohio State.

• Wednesday was the final regular-season home game for MSU's lone senior, forward Jenna Allen, who tallied eight points and five rebounds, adding one block and one assist.

• By holding Penn State to 48 points, the Spartan defense posted their fewest points allowed in Big Ten action, bettering the previous mark of 60 points vs. No. 9 Maryland (W, 77-60 on Jan. 17) and vs. Illinois (W, 77-60 on Jan. 24) ... Overall, it was the second-fewest points allowed by the MSU defense behind 45 points vs. Texas Southern (W, 91-45 on Dec. 2), with all four low marks coming at home, as the Spartans entered Wednesday yielding just 65.5 points per game to the opposition.

• Michigan State's defensive effort held Penn State to just 30.5 percent (18-of-59) field goal shooting, a new season-low by an MSU opponent, bettering the previous mark of 31.6 percent (18-of-57) by Kennesaw State (Nov. 23).

• The Spartan defense also held the Lady Lions to 11.8 percent (2-of-17) from 3-point range, the second-lowest percentage behind the arc by the opposition this season, behind only a 9.1 percent (1-of-11) by Minnesota (Jan. 9).

• MSU had a 38-35 rebounding advantage over Penn State on Wednesday, and are now 15-2 this season when out-rebounding the opposition, including having more rebounds than the opponent in the last four games.

• Wednesday's MSU starting lineup of junior guards Shay Colley and Taryn McCutcheon, junior forward Victoria Gains, freshman guard Nia Clouden and senior forward Jenna Allen was the 12th time this season that the Spartans have started with that quintet ... The Spartans are now 8-4 with that starting five.

• McCutcheon made her 92nd career start, needing just eight more for the 100 games played milestone.

• Allen, McCutcheon and Clouden are the only three Spartans to start all 28 games this season ... Colley and Gaines both made their 20th starts of the season Wednesday ... Allen started the 55th game of her career, while Gaines made her 47th career start and Colley made the 41st start of her career.

• Clouden led all scorers Wednesday with a game-high 14 points, posting her third-straight double-figure outing and seventh in last eight games as part of her 19th game this season ... While it was the fifth time this season that Clouden led the Spartans in scoring, improving to 3-2, Michigan State is 15-4 when she posts double-digit points.

• With two assists Wednesday, Clouden now has 113 helpers on the season, currently sixth on the MSU freshman assists list, needing just four more to match Spartan great Kristin Haynie's for the No. 5 spot ... Clouden's 14 points Wednesday gives her 332 for her career, passing current WBB Director of Basketball Operations Julie Pagel Dombroski at 313 during the 2000-01 season, and needing 31 points to tie Kris Emerson's 363 points from the 1983-94.

• Sophomore forward Sidney Cooks tallied 12 points off the bench, marking her 10th double-figure outing off the bench this season as part of 13 overall times for the year and 28th of her career.

• Colley's 10 points was her sixth-straight double-figure game and 18th of the season ... She now has scored in double digits in 32 career games as a Spartan.

• Colley also led MSU with seven rebounds, marking the fifth time this season that she led the Spartans on the boards ... She also dished out a team-best and game-high tying four assists, marking the eighth game this season that she led MSU in helpers, as the Spartans are now 6-2 when Colley tops the team in assists.

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